ASIA/BANGLADESH - Catholic nurses and doctors on a spiritual journey, to give Christ at work

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 healthcare   solidarity   faith   work   human rights   lent  

Dacca (Agenzia Fides) – To give adequate spiritual assistance to doctors, nurses, Catholic health workers who, especially in Dhaka, fail to attend Sunday Mass because of their professional activity: as Agenzia Fides learns, this was the aim of the Lenten seminar entitled "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give" (Mt 10.8), organized in recent days by the Health Commission of the Archdiocese of Dacca, at the Catholic church of Nayanagar, in the capital, which was attended by about 110 Catholic health workers .
In Bangladesh, Sunday is a working day, while Friday and Saturday are holidays. Edward Pallab Rozario, Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Health Care Commission, speaking to those present, recalled that "serving as health workers is a profession and a vocation, which is part of Christian service". Therefore, he explained to Fides, "we tried to teach them so that they can draw inspiration from faith in order to do their job better". During the seminar those present celebrated the Via Crucis and approached the sacrament of Confession. Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Theotonious Gomes, told the participants: "The Catholic Church is grateful to you for doing such exceptional work with your patient service. Thanks to your work, Christ is glorified. Follow the Christian teachings and values in your work". In the past, the nursing profession was neglected but, thanks to the work of many Christian nurses, many other men and women of other faiths, have chosen to do this job in Bangladesh.
During the seminar, the participants shared the challenges that arise in their work, for example in abortion clinics. Those who declared themselves objectors and did not carry out abortions lost their jobs.
Father Proshanto Cruze, priest of the Holy Cross, said to those present: "Lent is like the spring season for us. During spring, the old leaves fall and new leaves grow. In our lives, during Lent we should eliminate bad habits and sins. Lent is the right time to review our lives".
In Dhaka, about a thousand Catholics - doctors, nurses and other health workers - work in various state health facilities. The Bishops’ Commission follows the Christian and professional formation of Christian health workers. Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country where only 0.3% of people are Christians. (SC) (Agenzia Fides, 27/3/2019)